JERUSALEM (Jan. 7)
Arabs attended a session of the Royal Commission for the first time today and heard David Ben-Gurion, chairman of the Jewish Agency’s Palestine Executive, declare “our aim is to make the Jewish people master of its own destiny” and “the Bible is our mandate.”
The Arab Supreme Committee having officially abandoned its boycott of the inquiry yesterday, Arab leaders were present as the commission, entering its ninth week of investigation into recent disorders and the administration of the mandate, listened to Mr. Ben-Gurion define Jewish aims in Palestine and Zionism’s attitude toward the Arabs.
Replying to a question by Lord Peel, chairman of the commission, Mr. Ben-Gurion said:
“The Jews are in Palestine on their own rights. We are creating and propose to build up a Jewish home. Jews are entitled to live freely in Palestine, not only because of the Balfour Declaration or the mandate–the Bible is our mandate. Our aim is to make the Jewish people master of its own destiny, not dominating anybody.
“No other nation in the world claims Palestine as a home. We are a minority everywhere, depending upon the majority’s mercy. We had and we hold Palestine by right, believing the mandate is intended for the removal of Jewish historical grievances against the Christian world.
“Zionism aspires radically to change the situation, without affecting, however, rights of others. We created and we are creating this country; we came and will come until the Jewish problem is solved.”
Concluding, Mr. Ben Gurion declared:
“The formula of the Jewish national home is larger than a Jewish state, because Jewish rights are secured through international law. Our movement is constructive, while the Arabs are engaged in politics.”
The open session was adjourned for a hearing in camera.